South Dakota Archives:

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA (BNO NEWS) — Four people were killed on Friday afternoon when a small plane crashed near an airport in the U.S. state of South Dakota, federal officials said on Saturday. There were no survivors.

The accident happened at around 2.24 p.m. local time when a Cessna 421-C, which is a small two-engine plane, crashed about a mile (1.6 kilometers) east of Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, the county seat of Minnehaha County. Four people were on board.

Cell phone footage shot by witnesses shortly after the crash showed parts of the aircraft on fire, although most of the cabin appeared to be intact. By the time the fire had been extinguished by emergency services, only the aircraft’s tail was left.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Tony Molinaro said all four people on board the aircraft were killed. FAA records showed the 1975-built plane was registered to S & S Aviation, LLC out of Ipswich in South Dakota.

It was not immediately known what may have caused the accident, which occurred shortly after the plane took off from Joe Foss Field. “We’ll be starting an investigation,” Molinaro said. “However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be in charge of the investigation and we will be giving our information over to them.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Republican U.S. Senator John Thune on Tuesday announced that he will not run for president of the United States in 2012.

Thune made his decision public through a statement to his supporters on his official website, ending a long period of speculation about his political future. “For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States,” Thune said.

The U.S. Senator from South Dakota said he and his family have given a “great deal of thought” of how they might best serve South Dakota and the United States. “That process has involved lots of prayers,” he said.

“There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now,” Thune said. “So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.”

Thune has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Dakota’s At-Large district from January 1997 until January 2003. After that, Thune assumed office as the U.S. Senator from South Dakota in January 2005.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) – President Barack Obama declared on Thursday that a major disaster exists in the State of South Dakota and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts.

A severe winter storm struck counties Corson, Perkins, and Ziebach on April 2, and federal funding is now available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged in the area.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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SALEM, OREGON (BNO NEWS) – Eight Oregon soldiers will be deployed in Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn, the Oregon Military Department said Monday.

The eight soldiers are currently based at the Oregon Army National Guard aviation unit in Salem. They received mobilization orders, as they are set and ready to serve the nation in Iraq.

Alpha Company, 641st Aviation, will command about 35 soldiers from Oregon, Washington, South Dakota and Oklahoma, during a 400-day deployment set to begin in early October, 2010.

“We are deploying with extraordinary talent, and a wealth of experience in such an austere environment,” Captain Adam McCarthy, Commander, Alpha Company, 641st Aviation, said. “This team has some of the brightest aviators in the business, so it’s a huge honor to command the four state detachments. That said, I think the real honor for all of us is our relevance in serving the overseas effort.”

The four-state contingent will fly C-23 Sherpa cargo airplanes, performing airlift missions throughout the country, which will remain in Oregon for what will be the unit’s third deployment to Iraq.

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PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA – South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds on Friday asked that all flags in the state be flown at half staff next Monday in honor of the death of a Navy Pilot.

Navy Lieutenant Clinton Wermers, a Navy flight instructor, was aboard a T-34 Turbomentor training plane when it crashed on a landing approach to the New Orleans Lakefront Airport in New Orleans on January 23. Wermers, who was a Mount Vernon native, was attached to Training Squadron 6, Whiting Field Naval Air Station, Milton, Florida.

A funeral service for Lt. Wermers will be held next Monday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell, South Dakota.

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